Pardon me? Oh, you came here to read more than that? An adequate, perfectly descriptive one word review doesn’t suffice? Fine, I’ll elaborate.
It didn’t suck. How about that?
Yeah, didn’t think that would work either. Fine, but you know what happens when I have to analyze a Brad and Eugenie episode. The blood pressure tends to spike. Especially when something so tame follows something so brilliant.
Why don’t I start with the positive? “Family Feud” wasn’t a total waste of my time. I’ve been dying for Rowena and Gavin to meet. Here Gavin, meet your grandmother, who shouldn’t be any more alive that you are, but your family just ain’t right. I liked their scenes together and how both came to the same conclusion, even if Rowena’s motivations weren’t pure. They were a team! The outcome made sense, Gavin didn’t feel like he belonged. Hmm, why weren’t reapers coming after him like Mary? Apparently he wasn’t that hard to find.
I loved the scene at the end with Crowley and Rowena. It makes sense, she agreed to help Gavin go back on that ship and die, against Crowley’s wishes, in retaliation for Oskar. She wanted Crowley to feel the same loss of losing a son like she did with him. I’ll admit, I didn’t see that coming, and it sounds exactly like something she would do. It’s no more twisted that Crowley’s act of forcing her to kill him in the first place. This family knows how to hit each other where it hurts. I felt Crowley’s sting. Gavin summoning him to say goodbye had to hurt, even for the King of Hell. It’s a reminder that he still has that piece of humanity in him, or at least a reminder that isn’t tied to him trying to be one of the good guys with Sam, Dean, and Castiel.
I also liked Mary’s story and how she finally came clean with Sam and Dean. I’m wondering if Mr. Ketch said what he did to get Mary to abandon Sam and Dean or get them to join her. I’m thinking the latter. He seems pretty smart. I’m glad she did, but I was so ready for this episode to be over by the time they got to their conversation that I didn’t mind it was part of the montage. Jared and Jensen are the best at body language and there was plenty! There was a nice range of hurt, confusion, and good old fashioned anger.
I’ll admit, I even liked Dagon. No, she didn’t blow me away, but her speech about good and bad wasn’t entirely useless. It kind of summed up how “Supernatural” approaches these heaven and hell stories. Who’s really the evil one here? Fine, Lucifer is evil. Despite the fact we saw Mark Pellegrino return, I was disappointed. I was really hoping Lucifer would be pulling strings from the cage. The potential of him being loose again doesn’t excite me at all. I didn’t like how they handled his story last season and I’m not really fond of it continuing this season. It reeks of desperation.
All in all, the purpose of this story was to move the plot forward and mission was accomplished.
Yeah, you knew there was a “but” coming. I was never more bored in my life, or at least since last season’s finale. All the classic Brad and Eugenie issues were present this time. Poor dialogue, mind numbingly slow pacing, plotting that didn’t quite add up in the end, and failure to emotionally connect with most of the characters in our story. I mean, I like Gavin and all, but why should I feel sad that he decided to go back and right a terrible wrong even though it means he has to die again? I’m not that invested in his story. I was giving him a thumbs up and saying, “Way to be a man, nice knowing you!”
Crowley’s scenes with Lucifer were cringeworthy. Just awful. Here’s the biggest problem I have with Crowley keeping Lucifer chained up for nothing more than “payback”. Crowley is an extremely cautious bastard. That’s why he’s survived all these years and escalated to the rank he is now. He knows how dangerous Lucifer is. Wouldn’t Crowley err on the side of caution and make sure Lucifer was permanently sealed in the cage? He’s known to swallow his pride for the wiser choice. After all, he’s kept Sam and Dean alive all this time. He knows value when he sees it. Why would he be this careless? It’s not his style.
Then there’s our ghost of the week, Fiona, who wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, was she? What was she thinking getting on that ship? There were harsh penalties for stowaways in the late 1700’s (and the next century too), especially for women. Men were forced to walk the plank. Females, well, it’s a long voyage. So somehow, after sealing her own doom, she channeled all that anger and frustration from being violated toward teachers because one there was mean and said she had it coming. Well, tell me, was the teacher wrong? Don’t use your modern day moral compass in answering that question. Think of the times.
I’ve been reading all of your time travel theories and nitpicks and all I can say is I’m not wasting any brain power on it. I could start with Castiel’s comments all the way back in season four that “all roads lead to the same destination,” which means Gavin was meant to die no matter what, or I could bring up all conundrums from “The Flash” on time remnants (aka a cool way to get out of bad time travel flubs), but honestly, time travel has never consistently been done right on this show. Why start now? I’m with Sam and Dean, it’s best not to think about it.
I could go on, but honestly, is it worth it? I’ve said this so many times I’ve turned it into an awful cliché, but where’s the excitement and passion in the storytelling? Dull, duller, dullest. At what point did everyone stop striving to do better, and don’t tell me when Kripke left. That was seven seasons ago. We used to get maybe one or two filler episodes a season. Now we’re into the almost half range. The case for a 13 episode season has never been stronger.
The Red Headed Monster
The monster has noticed that there’s a bad pickle raising its ugly head this season (Hah, two overused clichés put together where there’s no connection between the two whatsoever. Feels like a Brad and Eugenie script, don’t you think?) Something has felt very, very off this season and this week it dawned on me what. Watching "Supernatural" has been reminding me a lot of the days when I was struggling with the later seasons of “Smallville.” I kept asking who in the world allowed a once great show to turn that bad. Sadly, these are now questions I ask about “Supernatural.” The good stuff is getting farther between.
Why do we watch “Supernatural?” Plain and simple, it’s the brothers stupid. This was never an ensemble show. However, the conundrum is that in order for the show to keep going, Jared and Jensen need time off to fly to Austin and be with their families. That’s especially true this episode (and the next one) since Jensen’s twins were born right around the time this was filmed. So, what I’m wondering is has season 12 been an attempt to turn “Supernatural” into more of an ensemble based show? There’s been hardly any meaty plot for Sam and Dean. So far, the good reveals have fallen with Castiel, Crowley, Rowena, Mary, and we’re waiting for the British Men of Letters story to evolve.
We’re seeing a lot of ancillary plots circle around Sam and Dean, who are just standing in the middle watching them unfold. They step in and help when needed, but they aren’t really driving the bus. It feels like they’re supporting characters in their own show. We’ve gotten so used to prior years when problems happen to Sam and Dean and their reactions drive consequences for others. It’s kind of weird to see the other way around. I’m not saying it’s a wrong approach, but it probably explains why I’m not enjoying this season as much.
If there’s one plus, I’m very happy to see Castiel and Crowley finally get some good plots to run with. I’ve been dying to see that for a while. Their presence has certainly allowed Jared and Jensen to maintain a better work/life balance (if that’s even possible in their line of work) and seeing their families expand is rather exciting. But come on, how hard is it to give Sam, Dean, Castiel and Crowley all strong stories that could overlap at once? Other ensemble shows pull it off, and while this still isn’t a true ensemble show yet (and I hope never will be), there still could be better juggling of material. That would certainly help pick up the sluggish pacing that has been hampering season 12.
Better juggling of the stories doesn’t change one thing though, “Supernatural” is and always will be the story of Sam and Dean Winchester. The one big chance they had to focus on the brothers, when they were incarcerated in the Federal lockup, was blown. We didn’t get to see any fallout or impact from that, emotional or otherwise. It just happened. That’s exactly how I see season 12. It’s just…happening. All I’m getting lately are reminders of all those painful hours I had to endure before Clark Kent put on the damn suit and took flight. Tights and flights was exciting, but so not worth the wait. At least “Smallville” had that end game. What’s keeping us engaged with “Supernatural?”
As for the episode, overall grade, a C-. Interesting setups for future stories were dulled by the lack of urgent storytelling and snail’s pacing. Even the return of Mark Pellegrino couldn’t save this story.